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Visible Journaling: Well being Promotion via Artwork and Drawing

GoodTherapy | Visual Journaling

What’s visible journaling? 

Visible journaling [also called art or drawing journaling] has been recognized as each an vital and accessible strategy in expressive arts remedy, counseling, and schooling. It isn’t solely an efficient methodology for stress discount, but in addition is taken into account a inventive technique to specific private narratives and life tales in addition to make which means via photos, inventive writing, and story sharing.  

Why mix photos with phrases?   

In a comparative research on the efficacy of artwork and writing remedy on stress discount, Pizarro (2004) famous that the mixed results of artwork remedy and writing demonstrated extra important optimistic modifications when it comes to perceived ranges of stress than writing alone.  

Historical past of visible journaling 

Visible data of ideas and day by day life have been maintained all through historical past. Petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock work) are the oldest types of symbolic language representing advanced cultural meanings usually layered over time. Japanese 10th century “pillow books” have been personal written and visible journals (assortment) depicting private ideas, emotions, and reflections about courtroom life (Kasahara, 2017). Indigenous strategies of recording historic occasions are additionally typified within the Lakota Winter Counts: a storyteller creates a pictograph for yearly (snowfall to snowfall) on conceal or material (Atka Lakota Museum & Cultural Middle, n.d.).

Advantages of visible journaling 

There are a variety of confirmed well being advantages correlated with visible journaling or artmaking.  For example, participating briefly artmaking has been proven to reinforce immunity and reduce cortisol ranges (Lorance & Warson, 2012; Hayes et al., unpublished uncooked knowledge).  Though, many of those advantages may be transferred to the results of the visible journaling course of, analysis on the particular results of visible journaling demonstrated a lower in anxiousness ranges and adverse have an effect on (Mercer et al., 2010).  

In a 2012 research with southeastern tribal elders, visible journaling was sustained over a two-month interval with a 95% response price amongst 26 members (Warson, 2012). Preliminary knowledge evaluation indicated a desire for depicting every-day life occasions comparable to selecting peas within the backyard, designing quilt patterns, in addition to references to household and spirituality. These preliminary findings counsel that mindfulness-based consciousness was evident within the re-experiencing of vital day by day duties and occasions. Because of this, there’s rising proof for visible journaling as a promising intervention for stress discount. 

Tips for visible journaling  

For optimum profit, select a constant time of day to work in your journal.  Maintain a small container of favourite artwork provides shut by along with a small journey case. Well being advantages comparable to elevated dopamine and serotonin manufacturing may be achieved after 5 minutes of sustained visible journaling (Zaidel, 2014).   

Analysis on visible journaling has demonstrated {that a} self-directed strategy is simply as useful as utilizing particular prompts (Mercer et al., 2010). Create your personal strategy and differ it as your consciousness grows. For instance, visible journaling course of over a time period can elicit new themes as broad as your depiction of wellness. Mindfulness-based practices are additionally a pure match with visible journaling.   

Prompt visible journaling workouts 

  • Create an emblem of how you’re feeling within the current second and write one phrase to explain this sense. 
  • Create an emblem of your day and write one phrase to explain your day. 
  • In case you are having a not so good day, draw or hint a circle. Utilizing traces, shapes, and colours create an emblem of this sense within the circle.  Write down phrases that describe this sense.  You’ll be able to take this drawing out of your journal if you happen to select to. 
  • Create a drawing of your favourite place. Share this place with somebody. 
  • Create an emblem of stress and write down a phrase to explain this state of being. Beginning at your ft, deal with tensing up every muscle after which releasing it. Do that till you attain the highest of your head. 
  • Create an emblem of rest and write down a phrase to explain this state of being. 
  • Create a circle of wellness. Draw or hint your circle and divide your circle into 4 sections and embody symbols of bodily, emotional, religious, and psychological actions. Label every exercise and share your wellness circle with somebody.  
  • Create a circle of household and mates. Draw or hint a circle. Paste copies of images (or journal photos) of household and mates (previous and current) who’ve been a supply of help.  You’ll want to embody an image of you.  Share tales about every individual. 
  • Create your personal strategy and have enjoyable! 


Atka Lakota Museum & Cultural Middle, (n.d.). Lakota winter rely. site/News2?web page=NewsArticle&id=8993 

Mercer, P., Warson, E., & Zao, J. (2010).  Visible journaling: An intervention to affect stress, anxiousness, and have an effect on ranges in medical college students.  The Arts in Psychotherapy, 37(2), 143-148. 

Kasahara, Z. (2017, Feb. 2). The pillow e-book. 

Pizarro, J. (2004). The efficacy of artwork and writing remedy: Growing optimistic psychological well being outcomes and participant retention. Artwork Remedy: Journal of the American Artwork Remedy Affiliation, 21(1), 5–12. 

Warson, E. & Lorance, J. (2012). Physiological measures in artwork remedy evidence- primarily based analysis. In C. Malchiodi, (Ed.), Artwork Remedy and Well being Care. New York, NY: Guilford.   

Warson, E. (2012). Therapeutic throughout cultures: Arts in healthcare with American Indian and Alaska Native most cancers survivors. In C. Malchiodi, (Ed.), Artwork Remedy and Well being Care. New York, NY: Guilford.   

Zaidel, D. W. (2014). Creativity, mind, and artwork: organic and neurological issues. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 8, 389. 





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